It was something of a startling arrival for guests attending the Bayou Preservation Alliance "Welcome to the Jungle" event where the welcoming committee included a host of people-friendly pythons and boa constrictors. While the 300-plus guests dodged/embraced the reptiles, depending on their feeling about snakes, Shawn Richards set the jungle tempo at the entrance with his eloquent steel drums.
Headlining the list of attendees were chairs Kristen and Lee Nix, Jessica and Peto Meyer and hosts Penny and Paul Loyd, who opened their back lawn overlooking Buffalo Bayou for the fundraising festivities.
Popular with the crowd that included both veteran supporters and newbies to the cause of preserving, protecting and restoring Houston-area bayous were the "jungle juice" cocktails. The combo of light rum, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, ginger ale and grenadine presented in stemless wine glasses with smoking dry ice was a hit. As were the offerings from A Fare Extraordinaire which loaded two food stations with yummy international fare including Thai beef salad, beef churrascaria and avocado halves filled with spicy shrimp salad or roasted corn and black bean relish.
Part of the evening fun was checking out the costuming as a number of guests dressed in animal prints and others went for full jungle-inspired get-ups.
While the Light Rock Express filled the garden setting with '70s musical grooves, guests explored the verdant terrain. Among them were Lacey Liedtke, Kelly and Brian Adams, Alyssa and Brian Kilpatrick, Casey and Alex Loyd, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Elaine and Marvy Finger, Judy and Peter Meyer and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan.
There was a large contingent of BPA folks including executive director Kathy Lord and husband Tom Lord, board president Ty Kelly and wife Lynn Kelly, water quality director Steve Hupp and eyes-on-the-bayou director Eric Ruckstuhl and his wife Denise.